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What are Bingo Pinball Machines

We all know that Bingo is a legal game and have played it in our youth. So, it is no wonder that pinball manufacturers decided to use the bingo theme for machines, such as slot machines and payout pinballs.

With a Bingo pinball machine, just like playing bingo in your church, one or more players purchased a card and then played hoping to fill in a straight line of numbers on their card.

Each card, displayed on the backglass of the pinball had 25 numbers form 1 to 25 in a random sequence. (The numbers on a regular bingo card go up to 80.) The 25 numbers were arrayed on a playing field and when a ball fell into a hole the corresponding number would light up on each playing card. Players could increase their winnings by inserting multiple coins and, while they were advertised as amusement machines, operators would usually pay off in cash.

The players would shoot 5 balls, just as in a regular pinball machines, and if the player was "skillful" he would win free games which would register on the free play counter. Since skill was involved and no coins were paid out, it was not considered a gambling machine. However, in 1956 the courts declared these games to be gambling devices.

Most Bingo pinballs were manufactured by the Bally Manufacturing Company and had names such as Lite a Line, Lotta Fun, Three-Four-Five, and such beach names as Hawaii, Key West, and Rio.

For more information on Bingo Pinballs, go to the following Web Page

For pictures of Bingo machines, go to the following Picture Web Site





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Ken Durham
please email: durham@GameRoomAntiques.com